After canceling the rest of its rebooted regular season in March, the XFL announced last Friday morning that it has suspended day-to-day operations and laid off team and league employees, effective immediately.
By Monday afternoon, the league had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware, allotting both assets and liabilities in the $10-50 million range.
“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football,” the league said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football.”
In the filing, it was uncovered that WWE owner Vince McMahon was responsible for all of the Class A shares, as well as 76.5% of Class B shares, with the WWE owning the other 23.5% of Class B shares, refuting reports that a different group had owned the XFL.
Among the top creditors were the St. Louis Sports Commission who owns The Dome at the America’s Center where the St. Louis BattleHawks played their home games ($1,600,000), broadcasting service outfit NEP ($1,208,832) and Dallas Renegades head coach/general manager Bob Stoops ($1,083,333.33).
In comparison to the spring football league that folded last March, the Alliance of American Football filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April of 2019, “which is all about liquidating assets,” reported Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.
“The XFL bankruptcy is a Chapter 11, which is designed to enable easier renegotiation of debts,” Kaplan said, and later followed up with a tweet saying the XFL was for sale.
Bellville High School alum Cody Brown has now seen both spring leagues fold in the middle of their seasons, playing for the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions and the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks only to not be able to finish either season.
The Independence Community College product landed at Arkansas State for his last two years of college before getting a shot with the Jacksonville Jaguars, only to suffer a torn meniscus.
After the league announced the suspension of day-to-day operations, XFL President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Pollack held a 10-minute conference call to inform employees of the update but made no mention of a season in 2021 although “a small ‘skeleton crew’ of league executives will continue to work at the Stamford, CT headquarters,” according to Konnor Fulk who was on the call.
When the league announced the suspension of the regular season, it stated the players would be paid in full through the end of the regular season which would have been last weekend. Fulk added that both employees and players received a larger check than normal on their most recent pay stubs.
The Houston Roughnecks were undefeated through the first half of the season the XFL’s championship was slated to be played at Houston’s TDECU Stadium on April 26.
After the league suspended its season, the NFL was able to offer now-former XFL players contracts and the Roughnecks led the league in that regard as well, having four of their former players crack the big stage.